Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oh, Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

I have heard that there are people out there who do not care what others think or say about them.  I have heard people say that they are unaffected by unkind words or critical comments or sarcastic remarks.  Do you actually exist, oh immune ones?  Perhaps.  If I had to guess, I'd say there are those who are less affected, but none that are 100% immune to  negative attention.

With that thought in mind, I have been giving some thought to how I talk to not only other adults, but even more so to my children.  Think about it: how do you feel after a rude gesture from a fellow motorist, a sarcastic comment from a spouse or friend that hit you just in the right spot at the wrong time, an insensitive remark from someone?  Maybe you are one of those whose back it rolls right off of.  I wish I was you (although if that is you, I am going to make a wild guess you struggle with sensitivity in other areas where you need it!)  I am fairly thick-skinned and resilient, but I struggle with handling this sort of thing with forgiveness and grace.  Certain interactions with others stick with me for longer than I care to hold on to them, infecting my thoughts and mood for a while.  

A recent experience with this got me thinking about how I speak to my kids.  Now I realize that I am the parent and they are the children and it isn't quite the same rules as between adults.  I am allowed, and even required, to speak to them with a bit more authority and sternness at times than I should speak to my friends, but do I ever stop to think how my words and looks and attitudes are making them feel?  Yes, they can do a good job ignoring (or, at least, pretending to) a grumpy or frustrated mommy's sarcastic or too loud remarks and demands, but are they really immune to them?  I doubt it.  We, as the parents of young children, are the most important people and influences in our children's lives.  Remember that!  Oh, be careful little [mommy] what you say!  Handle your child's feelings with care and don't let your frustrations or anger in life cloud your judgement and dull your ability to filter your speech and actions toward them!  I sometimes catch myself in the act of treating one of my boys unfairly or speaking to them in a way no adult would ever let me get away with.  How sad.  I vow to be more vigilant with myself and keep a tighter reign on my tongue, and to attempt to find the "teachable moment" in each situation where correction or sternness is required, rather than resorting to flippant sarcasm or immediate annoyance and negativity!  


  1. I once heard a youth speaker say that it takes 10 positives to counteract one negative. I found that so true.

  2. wow. if there is any truth to that, i better get busy spouting some positivity!

  3. so true. I gave my little devotion on that very topic at my moms group last session... but it's always good to be reminded of it again!

  4. May your speech always be seasoned with salt...Col.4:6
    Another one of my favorite verses is;
    Do not let any unwhoesome words come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to the need of the moment that it may give grace to those who hear it. Eeeeph. 4:29.
    Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the very words of God; whoever serves, let him do so with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things
    God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory.... I Pet.5:11

    Don't you love it when you know God is speaking to your heart and helping you to become a better mother, wife, friend and maturing you as His precious daughter?

  5. Oh how I needed to be reminded of this... I'm ashamed to say that my tongue got away from me today. Thank you for the gentle reminder, My Friend.



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